England spin bowling coach, Jeetan Patel, expressed his surprise over the fact that Jack Leach didn’t bowl more overs to Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, considering their neck-to-neck rivalry in the ongoing series.
India on Friday dodged a massive bullet as Rishabh Pant smashed a counter-attacking ton to take them from a position of insecurity to one of dominance. Pant scored a 118-ball 101 as the hosts established an 89-run lead at the close of play.
“It wasn’t a plan. I was just as surprised as you are. I would’ve loved to see that battle between Rishabh Pant and Jack continue,” said an amazed Jeetan Patel, who played 24 Tests for New Zealand, bagging 65 wickets in the process.
“With two right arm off-spinners, spinning the ball away and that he has gotten out to off-spinners before, we thought it was an opportunity to use two off-spinners and attack his outside edge and also his pad. We also created opportunities and they just didn’t go our way.”
Notably, Rishabh Pant had hammered Jack Leach in the first Test in Chennai before the latter got the better of him in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test, also at the same venue.
Pant and Washington Sundar stitched a 113-run stand for the seventh wicket, which allowed the host to reach 294 for the loss of 7 wickets before stumps were declared on Day 2. While Pant got out on 101, Sundar is batting on 60* with Axar Patel also unbeaten on 11*.